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Concentration

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City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not...

Desire by Anna Clark

A sweeping survey of sexuality in Europe from the Greeks to the present day. It traces two concepts of sexual desire that have competed in European history: desire as dangerous, polluting, and disorderly; and desire as creative, transcendent, even revolutionary. This book follows these changing attitudes toward sexuality through the major turning points of European history. Written...

Falling Women by Ellen Herbert

Short stories about families in turmoil and children in peril, from a homeless mother forced to put her son in foster care to a suburban mother afraid of passing her water phobia to her son. Braxton, North Carolina is the where in these stories, an imaginary coastal town adjacent to Camp Corregidor, a stopover for recruits on their way to Vietnam and later to Iraq. Braxton is the...

Flight 714 by Hergé

On their way to Sydney, Tintin and Captain Haddock run into an old friend, a pilot who offers them a ride on a private jet. But when the plane gets hijacked, Tintin and the Captain find themselves prisoners on a deserted volcanic island!

In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck

This 1936 novel - set in the California apple country - portrays a strike by migrant workers that metamorphoses from principled defiance into blind fanaticism.

M: The Caravaggio Enigma by Peter Robb

M is the name of an enigma. In his short and violent life, Michaelangelo Merisi, from Caravaggio, changed art for ever. In the process he laid bare his own sexual longing and the brutal realities of his life with shocking frankness. Like no painter before him and few since, M the man appears in his art. As a book about art and life and how they connect, there has never been anything...

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

At long last, Lady Sybil has lured her husband, Sam Vimes, on a well-deserved holiday away from the crime and grime of Ankh-Morpork. But for the commander of the City Watch, a vacation in the country is anything but relaxing. The balls, the teas, the muck - not to mention all that fresh air and birdsong - are more than a bit taxing on a cynical city-born and -bred copper. Yet a...

Switch Bitch by Roald Dahl

These four stories are, by turns, funny, bawdy, touching, and outrageous. They are for lovers of tales that combine the macabre and the erotic with intriguing twists of plot.

The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton

Takes the discipline of logic and the mind back to its roots. Drawing inspiration from six of the finest minds in history - Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche - he addresses lack of money, the pain of love, inadequacy, anxiety and conformity.

The Loves of Judith by Meir Shalev

When the mysterious Judith arrives in a small agricultural village in Palestine in the 1930s, she attracts attention of three men: Moshe, a widowed farmer; Globerman, a wealthy cattle dealer; and Jacob, who loses his wife - the most beautiful woman in the village - because of his obsession with Judith, who insists on living in a cowshed rather than settling down with any of her...

The Road to Samarcand by Patrick O'Brian

The time is the 1930s and the protagonist a teenaged American boy whose missionary parents have just died. In the company of his rough seafaring uncle and an elderly English cousin, an eminent archaeologist, Derrick sets off in search of ancient treasures in central Asia. Along the way they encounter a charismatic Chinese bandit and a host of bad characters, including Russian agents...

Tremor of Intent by Anthony Burgess

The amoral Agent Hillier of MI6 journeys to the city of Yarylyuk aboard the passenger ship Polyolbion, on a mission to infiltrate a convention of Soviet scientists and return to Britain his childhood friend Roper, who has defected to Russia. En route, he meets the sexually precocious sixteen-year-old Clara, the voluptuous femme fatale Miss Devi, and the shadowy tycoon Theodorescu.